It’s no secret: I am a big fan of Eat Your Books.
For those not in the know, Eat Your Books is not all about scoffing printed tracts – as appealing as that sounds. No, it is all about being able to keep track of your cookbooks and find the recipes in them quickly and easily.
I’ve been a member for well over a year now and would be lost without it. The nerdy librarian in me would love to be have the time to organise my books and recipes really thoroughly, so Eat Your Books is heaven sent. I am able to assign a category or two (referred to as bookmarks) to each book and recipe. But the real genius behind this for me is that you can find recipes by typing in an ingredient or ingredients. So, if I have a couple of bananas looking rather the worse for wear in the fruit bowl, I can interrogate my cookbooks by typing in bananas and chocolate and up comes a list of 39 recipes that I have access to which include those two ingredients: chocolate banana loaf cake with rum soaked raisins anyone?
Similarly you can ask for a specific type of dish. If I fancy baking a cheesecake, I type in cheesecake and get 54 results. In the unlikely event I wanted a chocolate cheesecake, I would refine my search for and I get 15 results. It’s just brilliant – I’ve used so many recipes I’d never have found otherwise.
You can see what books I have on my bookshelf by clicking on the Eat Your Books badge on my sidebar.
But it’s not just about the books – oh no – food magazines are included as are some of the best food blogs. I had to put “some of the best” because my blog, apparently, is one of them. Add a blog to your collection and you can link direct to the recipes within it. Searches can be made for your complete collection or can be limited to say, magazines only. You can filter by recipe type, ethnicity, course, occasion and a number of other categories.
Not all books have been indexed yet, but progress is steadily being made and a number of my requests for indexing a book have been answered. The more people who join and request a book to be indexed, the more likely it is that it will be done. However, members keen to get a favourite book indexed as quickly as possible, are able to do it themselves.
It’s a good social networking tool too; it enables you to connect with other cookbook loving folk. See how many other members own your book or subscribe to the same blogs as you and find out who they are. If you’re really interested, you can find out how many books you have in common too. Why not read reviews or even submit your own? feeling chatty? Take part in forum discussions or read the many interesting and informative articles on the blog.
$25 for an annual subscription or $2.50 per month is a very reasonable investment for those moments when you just can’t think of what to cook, or where that favourite brownie recipe is lurking.